|Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Iran|
|Appointed||4 January 1976|
|Term ended||3 July 1982|
|Successor||Giovanni De Andrea|
|Other posts||Titular Archbishop of Diocletiana|
|Ordination||26 July 1936
by Alcide Giuseppe Marina
|Consecration||13 February 1972
by Pope Paul VI
14 June 1912|
Civitella del Lago, Umbria
|Died||3 July 1982
|Previous post||Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship (1969-1976)|
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Annibale Bugnini, C.M. (14 June 1912 – 3 July 1982) was a Roman Catholic prelate. Ordained in 1936 and named archbishop in 1972, he was secretary of the commission that worked on the reform of the Catholic liturgy that followed the Second Vatican Council. Critics of the changes made to the Catholic Mass and other liturgical practices before and after Vatican II consider him a controversial figure. He held several other posts in the Roman Curia and ended his career as papal nuncio to Iran, where he acted as an intermediary during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 – 1981.
Early life and ordination
He spent ten years in parish work in a suburb of Rome. In 1947 Bugnini became involved in the production of the missionary publications of his order and became the first editor of Ephemerides Liturgicæ, a scholarly journal dedicated to the reform of the Catholic liturgy. Starting in 1949, he taught Liturgical Studies at the Pontifical Urban College (now the Pontifical Urban University). He later became a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University.
On 28 May 1948, Pope Pius XII appointed Bugnini Secretary to the Commission for Liturgical Reform, which created a revised rite for the Easter Vigil in 1951 and revised ceremonies for the rest of Holy Week in 1955. The Commission also made changes in 1955 to the rubrics of the Mass and Office, suppressing many of the Church's octaves and a number of vigils, and abolishing the First Vespers of most feasts. In 1960 the Commission modified the Code of Rubrics, which led to new editions of the Roman Breviary in 1961 and the Roman Missal in 1962.
On 25 January 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his plan to convene the Second Vatican Council. On 6 June 1960 Fr. Bugnini was named Secretary of the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Liturgy. This body produced the first drafts of the document that, after many changes, would become the Council's Pastoral Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963). When the Council convened in October 1962, the Preparatory Commission was succeeded by the Conciliar Commission on the Sacred Liturgy, on which Bugnini was assigned the role of a peritus (expert). At the same time, Bugnini was removed from the chair of Liturgy at the Pontifical Lateran University because, in the words of Piero Marini, "his liturgical ideas were seen as too progressive."
The Council and Pope Paul VI approved the Constitution on the Liturgy on 4 December 1963. On 30 January 1964, the Pope appointed Bugnini Secretary of the Council for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy. Bugnini was appointed the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship by Pope Paul in May 1969. In January 1965, he became an undersecretary in the Congregation of Rites responsible for causes for beatification and canonization.
On 16 July 1975 Pope Paul announced the merger of two curial departments to form the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ending Bugnini's career in the Roman Curia. His personal secretary was Piero Marini, who is now an Archbishop and President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
On 4 January 1976 the Vatican announced Bugnini's assignment as pro-nuncio to Iran. Bugnini studied the country, its history, and traditions. The results of his researches appeared in 1981 as La Chiesa in Iran (The Church in Iran).
In 1979 Bugnini tried unsuccessfully to obtain, in the name of the pope, the release of the American hostages being held at the United States embassy by followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He met with Khomeini to deliver Pope John Paul II's appeal for the release of the hostages. The 52 Americans were released on 21 January 1981, after 444 days in captivity.
His detailed account of the work to which he devoted most of his career, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, appeared posthumously. An English translation appeared in 1990.
Allegations of Freemasonry
Bugnini was suspected by some of being a Freemason, which is in conflict with Canon Law and Catholic tradition. Catholics who are Freemasons "are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion." The public allegations of Bugnini's suspected Freemasonry began in the 1980s by Catholic writers Piers Compton and Michael Davies, as well as Australian Catholic theologian Fr. Brian Harrison, but official suspicions of high-ranking members of the Roman Curia being compromised by affiliations with Freemasonry date at least to the early 1970s. Pope Paul VI was concerned with a possible infiltration by various opponents of the Church and commissioned a full investigation into the matter, appointing a Canadian Cardinal Gagnon (then archbishop) to conduct it. Although the report was never made public, it was the subject of interest in the late 1970s when it was reported stolen by several Italian secular news organizations. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported the theft from a safe in one of the Curial offices.
In Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II, English Catholic writer Michael Davies asserts that Bugnini's Masonic connections were behind his Modernist liturgical reforms, and that the discovery of his Masonic affiliation prompted his sudden transfer by Pope Paul VI from his post in the Roman Curia to that of Papal Nuncio to Iran. Davies further asserted that an unnamed Cardinal told him in the summer of 1975 that a "dossier" proving him to be a Freemason had been brought to the Pope's desk.
- Wolfe, Kenneth J. (28 November 2009). "Latin Mass Appeal". New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Davies, Michael. How the liturgy fell apart: the enigma of Archbishop BugniniAD2000, June 1989, retrieved 30 September 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2015. Accessed 30 December 2014
- Davies, Michael. Pope Paul's New Mass, Angelus Press 1980, p.497.
- Marini, Piero (2007). A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal. Liturgical Press. p. xix.
- "Pope Names 0verseers For Reforms of Liturgy". New York Times. 31 January 1964. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Pontiff Fills Posts in the Roman Curia". New York Times. 27 January 1965. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Warda, Gladys. "Book Review: La Chiesa in Iran (The Church in Iran) by Annibale Bugnini" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies: 83–104.
- "Ayatollah Gets a Plea From Pope on Hostages". New York Times. 10 November 1979. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Papal Nuncio Bugnini Dies; Figure in Iran Hostage Crisis". New York Times. Associated Press. 4 July 1982. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (26 November 1983). "Declaration on Masonic Organizations". vatican.va. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
- Moynihan, Robert. "A Dying Cardinal." Inside The Vatican 15 July 2009. Accessed 21 May 2013. Archived 13 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Latin Mass Magazine, Summer 2001 (cite to edition of L'Osservatore Romano)
- Davies, Michael (2003). Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II: Destruction of the Faith through Changes in Catholic Worship. Tan Books. ISBN 9780895557735.
|Delegate of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations
1968 - 9 January 1970